Pirates of the Caribbean at the Magic Kingdom To Be Closed All Summer Due to Safety Concerns

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We kind of knew this was coming, but it seems Pirates of the Caribbean at the Magic Kingdom will be closed May 11th through September 25th, 2015.

Photo by Joe Hogarty, WDWNT.com
Photo by Joe Hogarty, WDWNT.com

A two day refurbishment of the attraction this week allowed Disney to assess issues with the new boats & the ride track and create a game plan to fix the system, removing safety concerns.

Last summer, a guest who had his hand outside of the boat lost tips of his ring and pinky fingers as the then-recently installed new boats rubbed against the older ride track. Guests were not permitted to sit in the last row of the Pirates of the Caribbean boats on either coast as Disney investigated the issues.

Beyond safety concerns, the new boats have been problematic with many taking on water or severe damage while riding along the ride-path. Guests have complained about getting much wetter on the ride than in years past, as the boats roughly passed through the turn in the track following the ride’s one drop.

Rumors have also insisted that some scene changes were coming to the ride in late-2015/early 2016, so it is unclear if any of those changes will be made now or wait for another refurbishment down the road. We’ll just have to wait and see on that.

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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JoAnn Yana
Guest
JoAnn Yana

In

beth
Guest
beth

Not the greatest time of the year to be doing this. It’s so busy. They should close it now while crowds are still lighter than summer time!

Kelly B
Guest
Kelly B

for safety!!

Scott Dolan
Guest
Scott Dolan

If safety were a concern the ride would be down right now, and would not re-open until all those concerns were addressed and remedied.

Kate
Guest
Kate

The ride has been down consistently throughout all last week and didn’t open at all for the last two days.

ac
Guest
ac

I was there 21-24 and it was open the entire time I was in the park..? Rode it multiple times…

Nina
Guest
Nina

Actually, more people in the summer is an increase of people who can get hurt. Busy season is the worst time to have a faulty ride up. The one at Disneyland is tons better anyway!

Sandy
Guest
Sandy

“The one at Disneyland is tons better anyway!” What am I missing the ride that is down IS at Disneyland not Disneyworld!??!?!

wanderlustmd
Guest
wanderlustmd

It’s the Pirates ride at Disney World that is going down for refurb. Nothing was said about the ride in Disneyland, and I have no idea if that ride needs a refurb as well.

Wanda Jones
Guest
Wanda Jones

I hope they post at the entrance that the ride is closed……..

Cap'n Charles
Guest
Cap'n Charles

“… the new boats have been problematic with many taking on water or severe damage…”

It IS a pirate ride, ya bilge rat. If it’s dry and calm ya be seekin’, get ye to a cruise ship and ne’er return to Port Royale.

Arr…

Jen Barron
Guest
Jen Barron

+1

Cuncu
Guest
Cuncu

Avast me hearties

babe
Guest
babe

Cap’n Charles you are Too funny. Remember “dead men tell no tales” and methinks the scurvy pirates hands be at work at this mischief.

ajritz
Guest
ajritz

It’s a 5-month refurb. If they close it now, it will be down for BOTH Spring Break and the busiest part of the summer. If they wait, they can limp through Spring Break and only miss one of the next two crowd peaks.

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

@ Cap’n Charles :) Thank you for adding the much needed atmosphere to the situation.

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

Probably have a very good reason not to close it now. They might need time to get materials together, new boats maybe… or rebuild that ramp somehow so it doesn’t soak folks?

Laureen Velez (@jedinite216)
Guest
Laureen Velez (@jedinite216)

1- it is a boat ride with a drop– you may get wet.
2- keep your hands arms legs and feet in the boat at all times sorry but that is common sense, or it should be.

Scott Dolan
Guest
Scott Dolan

Disney Imagineers do not design based upon the common sense of guests. If they did, they would have gone out of business well before Walt Disney World was even built.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Totally Agree with you there…. It’s not Disneys fault people are dumb and wanna put their hands outside the ride especially when it’s clearly stated not to.

toteach5th
Guest
toteach5th

Thank you for stating the obvious, as no one else seems to. If you are told to keep your hands and feet inside the stupid boat, DO IT. End of story. Why should Disney have to pay millions to refurbish a ride because people are stupid??

Scott Dolan
Guest
Scott Dolan

Because lawyers and judges don’t agree with your simplistic take.

john
Guest
john

absolutely common sense. of course in our society, one gets affected by stupidity then you must punish the rest.

koolaidmoms
Guest
koolaidmoms

We were stuck on the ride for 15-20 minutes two weeks ago, right at the end in front of Jack Sparrow. It was cool for a bit but people started to get really cranky listening to the track for so long and we could see the end but we could not hear anything and were not given much information. Everyone cheered when we finally made moved onto the platform to get out.

Tara
Guest
Tara

We were stuck under the dirty foot that dangles over the bridge for 45 minutes last May. They had to reset the ride 3 times, and that included being in complete darkness at times. Really scary for my son.

themiims
Guest
themiims

Koolaidmoms- getting stuck on the ride is common and it’s the same for splash mountain. It happens. It has to do with loading and loading people with handicaps or special needs not the boats themselves

Bonita Braun
Guest
Bonita Braun

could be both and don’t blame a group of people for an obvious other reason i have been to disney parks with disabled people they don’y hold up the line!

themiims
Guest
themiims

I wasn’t blaming people with special needs for holding up the line. I work with kids with special needs and I know some of my kids would need extra time for loading and unloading. Don’t start on the whole mightier than thou thing.

Bill Simondson
Guest
Bill Simondson

“It happens.”

Nice, fanboy.

Scott Dolan
Guest
Scott Dolan

If I said that sometimes people write checks in the grocery store, bringing the entire check out proceedings to a screeching halt, would that make me a grocery store fanboy? Find new material.

Tom M.
Guest
Tom M.

I would love to know the total cost of newer boats and the upcoming refurb. Maybe if they just left the old boats none of this would have happened. Disney has a bad habit of trying to improve on something that doesn’t need improving.

Shirley
Guest
Shirley

Oh no!!! Bringing my granddaughter for her first awesome trip. Pirates is one of my favorite rides. We arrive on the 11th at night. SAD

sean
Guest
sean

People are so weak now a days, boo effing hoo, you got a little wet…

TJ
Guest
TJ

It was more than a “little wet.” Completely soaked. And in January during the cold snap. In all our visits over several decades this was the first time we got more than just splashed. Seriously — wetter than Splash Mountain and my tote bag was FILLED with water. Thank goodness my phone was in a waterproof case! I’m sure the little kid in our row was freezing afterwards. His autograph book that his dad was holding for him was ruined, too.

Brion Rector
Guest
Brion Rector

So did Disney Parks Blog officially announce this? I have not seen it on their site

Lori
Guest
Lori

Gonna make it by the skin of our teeth. We arrive on the 6th.

Sue Stratton
Guest
Sue Stratton

Could someone share the link to the refurbishment schedule PLEASE ? I have searched & searched for it & can’t find it, thanks

Polly McLain
Guest
Polly McLain

We rode this in December. It stopped and we had to walk out of the ride. I was having hip problems, but nobody offered to give ma a ride or help in any way. We were very, very disappointed.

katie
Guest
katie

Unfortunately when they have to take you off the ride the cast don’t have the training to assist mobility impaired guests if they can’t get themselves out or a member of their group can’t – that’s for Reedy Creek who do have the training and experience (I am a former attractions CM). It’s annoying for the few it affects – but I know that I would rather have a professional assist me than someone who has only learnt about it in theory and could do me more harm when trying to help.

kate
Guest
kate

i understand both sides. if there is a problem with the boats, which i have ridden both–didnt really notice a difference and was just there 3 weeks ago and have been there the last 3 feb in a row; then i suppose it should be fixed. the other problem however is purely parenting in a very high % of cases. yes i am a parent to clear that up as well. when you hear the announcement in at least 2 languages to keep all body parts inside and most all rides ask to keep children in the middle for a… Read more »

Kelsey
Guest
Kelsey

If I remember correctly, the person who lost the tips of their fingers wasn’t a child, it was an adult. And as for the boat difference, the newer ones are incredibly uncomfortable for anyone who is tall. I’m only 5’8″ and my knees are jammed into the back of the row in front of me. So when the ride is busy and I have more than just me and my friend riding, I’m forced to sit with my knees crammed into the hard plastic seat backs. So if they can remedy that lack of leg room, that would be great!

selina
Guest
selina

You’re not forced to do anything! Don’t ride it, it’s that simple.

Ks
Guest
Ks

The reason is is closing so late is because the week of Easter is super busy, plus anything after the date in Sept cuts into hardcore busy with the Halloween and holiday rushes.

Ra
Guest
Ra

As a former cast member (within the last year) that worked as a pirate, these things happen. It’s unfortunate it’s going to damper vacations. But would you rather continue to ride a ride that the cast and leaders see is having difficulties and safety issues and possibly have THAT bad experience or would you rather have a good day and miss ONE ride? I was working there during the last refurb, new boats and they had several days of testing. Unfortunately not everything can be foreseen, as time went on the boats have proven they didn’t hold up. For everyone’s… Read more »